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From Manual Communication Board to Speech Generating Device: A case study of Joshua

  • Gail M. Van Tatenhove

In the current world of AAC, where does the use of manual communication boards fit into the continuum of communication strategies available to children and adults with complex communication needs? In spite of all the incredible technological advances in the field of AAC, children and adults who use AAC still benefit from having manual communication boards.

Manual communication boards can be introduced to children as simple but effective means to support normal language acquisition. A manual communication board can also serve as a bridge to technology, building understanding of icons and vocabulary organizational patterns. Finally, a manual communication board can be used as a back-up system to a speech generating device.

This presentation is a case study of 9 year old Joshua and will demonstrate how he benefited from the use of a manual communication board to build expressive language, transition to technology, and provide a simple-to-access back-up system for selected classroom activities. 

Level of Session 
Age Group 
Topic of interest to people who use AAC
Primary school